WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue women’s basketball team continues its non-conference schedule Wednesday, heading to Pittsburgh for the 10th edition of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Boilermakers are playing their best basketball of the young season, coming off a 2-1 performance at the 2016 Triple Crown Sports Cancun Challenge and look to deal the Panthers their first loss of the early year.
The Boilermakers have struggled traditionally in the annual rivalry competition with the Atlantic Coast Conference, but have played a brutal schedule in the nine-year history of the event. Six of the nine Purdue opponents in the Challenge have been ranked, and their 2014 opponent, Florida State, went on to finish the year in the top-15 in the country despite being unranked at the time of the game. The Boilermakers’ last two games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge have been decided by a combined five points, suffering a double-overtime loss to the Seminoles, and falling on a last-second 3-pointer to Boston College in 2015.
Purdue aims to reverse the trend Wednesday behind the hot play of their senior class. Seniors Ashley Morrissette and Bridget Perry were named to the all-tournament team in Cancun, averaging a combined 29.7 points per game. Morrissette posted her first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds against Northeastern, and her fourth career 20-point effort with 23 against Stanford in the championship game. Perry was stellar against the Cardinal as well, draining a career-high four 3’s and finishing with 16 points.